Since former Indian captain MS Dhoni's retirement, Rishabh Pant has emerged as the first-choice wicketkeeper-batter in the side across formats.
Dhoni contributed significantly to the success of the national team in his 16-year-long international career. Along with his swift glovework, Dhoni's iconic one-liners from behind the stumps became a huge hit among the masses.
Pant too isn't far behind in this and has often made the on-field action more entertaining with his chirpiness.
From his swashbuckling batting to looking for interesting ways to lift the spirits of his teammates, viewers have labeled the youngster as a complete entertainer. There have been several instances where Pant has reminded fans of Dhoni and his cheeky sense of humor.
Here, we take a look at five such incidents featuring Rishabh Pant:
#1 "Body language utha ke bhaiyon" - Rishabh Pant lifts up the spirits of his teammates
Rishabh Pant could be seen constantly motivating the Indian bowlers and fielders during the Test match against England in Chennai in 2021. The English batters dominated the opening day of the fixture.
However, Pant received praise from all quarters for lifting the morale of his teammates with his words. He was heard telling the players to work hard as they needed to create an opportunity for a breakthrough.
He urged the Indian players to be positive with their body language during a crucial juncture. England were cruising at 124/2 when Pant was recorded by the stump microphone saying:
"Body language utha ke bhaiyo" (Improve your body language, brothers)
#2 "Andar hi rakhna, ye maarega" - Rishabh Pant plots Matthew Wade's dismissal
MS Dhoni is considered a great reader of the game by fans. The former Indian captain was a guiding force behind the stumps for the bowlers, especially the spinners.
Rishabh Pant has also, on several occasions, come up with valuable inputs which have worked in the favor of the bowlers. One such incident took place during the Boxing Day Test match between India and Australia in 2020.
Mathew Wade was well set at the crease and had scored 30 runs for his side. Pant asked Ravichandran Ashwin to keep bowing into the left-hander, predicting that he would go for a big shot.
Wade perished off the very next delivery while trying to play an attacking shot against the veteran off-spinner. Many fans lauded Pant for plotting the dismissal and even compared him to Dhoni.
#3 "Aap improve karo" - Rishabh Pant's savage response during an interview
MS Dhoni's interviews, both before and after a match, have often been colored by several witty responses from the enigmatic gloveman that have dazzled viewers.
His one-liners of "definitely not" and "still haven't left behind" while responding to rumors surrounding his retirement during the Indian Premier League (IPL) are etched in the memory of his fans.
Pant also came up with one such reply during the post-match presentation of the fourth Test between India and England in 2021. Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle jokingly complained to Pant that commentators are asked to keep quiet when the keeper engages with other players.
He responded by asking the commentators to up their game if the viewers are enjoying his comments more. Pant answered:
"Ab sir yeh mera compliment hai ya thoda aapko problem ho raha hai toh aap improve karo." (Now, sir, I don't know if it's a compliment or not, but you guys must up your game if you're having a problem.)
#4 "Ollie Pope ko lollipop do" - Rishabh Pant makes fun of England batter
Pant was very chirpy during the home Test series against India in 2021. During the second fixture of the rubber, the gloveman left the viewers in splits when he asked his teammate to give English batter Ollie Pope a 'lollipop'.
He was heard saying:
"Ollie Pope ko lollipop do" (Give Ollie Pope a lollipop)
MS Dhoni too made fun of England's Ian Bell during a Test match. He had asked former left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha to dismiss the batter, but he chose a hilarious way to do it, saying:
"Ghanti baja de iski" (Ring his bell)
#5 "Armaan pura karne ka yahi mauka hai" - Rishabh Pant to Ravichandran Ashwin
MS Dhoni likes to communicate with the spinners and can often be seen instructing them as per the match situation. The seasoned campaigner is undoubtedly capable of brining the best out of the spinners.
Pant also has his own way of talking to the bowlers. During India's warmup match against England ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, Ravichandran Ashwin tried a lot of variations and bowled many leg spin deliveries.
The Indian keeper cheekily told Ashwin that this was probably the right occasion where he could fulfill his wish of bowling leg spin.
He was recorded saying:
"Leg spin karne ka mauka bhi hai, dastoor bhi hai. Armaan pura karne ka yahi mauka hai." (This is the perfect opportunity to fulfill your dream of bowling leg spin.)